Thomas Sadler Roberts Bird Sanctuary – Minneapolis, Minnesota - Atlas Obscura

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Thomas Sadler Roberts Bird Sanctuary

A hidden oasis in the heart of Minneapolis is also an Important Bird Area.  


When Thomas Sadler Roberts retired from his career as a doctor, he remained hard at work in the field of ornithology. Roberts became a professor in the discipline at the University of Minnesota. He also helped establish the Bell Museum of Natural History

Ten years before Roberts’s death, this vital stretch of 31 acres was designated as a wildlife refuge by the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. The area was a favorite of Christian Bossen, the park board’s first superintendent after the famous Theodore Wirth retired. Bossen’s ashes were scattered in an area of the sanctuary now known as the Bossen Lane trail. 

This sanctuary, tucked between Lakewood Cemetery and the Lake Harriet Bandstand, draws many returning songbirds during the spring season. Wild animals, including birds of prey, white-tailed deer, raccoons, foxes, and other woodland creatures can be found drinking from Cemetery Creek, a small creek that connects Lakewood Cemetery to nearby Bde Maka Ska. 

Know Before You Go

Free parking is one block away along Lake Harriet Parkway. A visit to Lyndale Park Peace Garden nearby is also worth the trip. 

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